2012 was the year that Invisible Children went pro. You remember the viral campaign, right? Kony 2012?


You should, because last year the outfit raised more than $32 million and they’re not too shy about admitting there’s been a bit of a windfall.

At June 30, they had $15.5 million in cash sitting around, up from $6 million the previous year, a slightly embarrassing amount they confirmed they didn’t know what to do with.

Read all about it at News.com.au…

In a cutesy mock-handwritten addition to their accounts, they confirm there was a “significant increase of revenues” that the company - sorry, charity - was still figuring out how to manage.

“Not exactly the kind of decisions you want to rush through,” the handwritten comment says.

True, many businesses in the US are failing while others struggle with a lack of cash flow, and their African counterparts are still battling bribes, need microloans for essentials and a lack of infrastructure.

But Invisible Children has its heart in the right place, surely?

It may do, but it’s still figuring out where that place is.

In its bumper year, it spent $5.9 million on its protection and recovery programs - programs that in previous years were the organisation’s very soul.

Those programs were easily outgunned by the $7.1 million spent on “media” and “mobilization” - essentially, promoting and building its own brand.

And then there’s the slight shift in the charity’s governance.

Last year it held $1.1 million as “restricted net assets” - essentially, funds that were committed to a cause and could only be used for that cause, sort of like a trust fund.

This year they held only $121,540 restricted to a cause. Another $16.969 million could be spent without restriction.

That’s almost $17 million with no restrictions. It’s worth repeating.

Compare this to June 2009 when it held a mere $105,070 in unrestricted funds and $1.4 million in restricted funds.

This is when it laid the groundwork for its role as a professional fundraiser.

I’m not saying there’s anything nefarious here. Its administrative expenses are in keeping with what it needs to do and while it has benefited from product sales, it hasn’t lost control of the underlying costs.

But when a charity is sitting on a cash pile that it clearly is awkward about, when the bulk of its funds aren’t tied to an outcome, and when a large chunk of its activity was spent promoting its brand - well, that’s not really where I want to spend my money.

The sad part is, people already have.

It is now up to Invisible Children to prove they can back up their promises with real outcomes.

And, for the financial record, that doesn’t mean a bigger mobilisation for Kony 2013. We can just use the same t-shirts.

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    • Hartz says:

      09:15am | 11/01/13

      haha - people are idiots, only too keen to throw their money into a charity black hole. The Charity Industry is absolutely raking in the money and I don’t see much in the way of return… Charity starts at home people, find a local charity that actually puts its money into the community and not into their pockets and away you go, or donate some of your precious time… But no, everyone just wants to throw a red back into a bucket and keep walking. That is a pointless waste of time and money. Not all charities are corrupt entities more concerned with lining their pockets but plenty are so spend some time and look around and remember Charity starts at home..!!!

    • Roxanne Ford says:

      10:02am | 11/01/13

      @Hartz, I agree with you.  I don’t mind giving to local causes at all, and I do give a bit of my time to some of our local needs.  Not as much as I should, I suppose, but enough to ease my concience so that works for me.  I have no time for the big charities now, having read far too many stories of waste etc.  I am sure there are some good ones, the problem is there are just so many.

    • Barry says:

      01:55pm | 11/01/13

      This became something which I don’t think Invisible Children ever expected.  It doesn’t suprise me they don’t know what to do with all the money, they probably were never prepared for it.  Their main agenda was to influence the government into taking action. 

      For all the doubters,
      On March 21, 2012, a resolution “condemning Joseph Kony and his ruthless guerrilla group for a 26-year campaign of terror” was put forward by Senators Jim Inhofe and Chris Coons. The resolution stated that it would back “the effort of Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and the newest country, South Sudan, to stop Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army”, along with an official statement of support “for the U.S. effort to help regional forces pursue commanders of the militia group.” Overall, the resolution received support from 37 senators, both Republicans and Democrats.[93][94]
      Support among senators for the resolution came about after the release of the Kony 2012 video and its subsequent popularity. One of the resolution leaders, Senator Chris Coons, became aware of the situation after his daughters asked him what he was doing to stop Kony and Senator Roy Blunt was informed “at a Missouri caucus in St. Louis when a constituent quizzed him about Kony”. One of the co-sponsors of the resolution, Senator Lindsey Graham, stated that, “When you get 100 million Americans looking at something, you will get our attention. This YouTube sensation is gonna help the Congress be more aggressive and will do more to lead to his demise than all other action combined.”
      AND

      On March 23, 2012, the African Union (AU) announced its intentions to send an international brigade of 5,000 military troops “from Uganda, South Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo, countries where Kony’s reign of terror has been felt over the years ... to join the hunt for rebel leader Joseph Kony” and to “neutralize” him. According to the statement, the mission commenced on March 24, 2012 and the search “will last until Kony is caught”,[95] after which the task force will be disbanded.[36] The effort is Ugandan-led and backed by the U.S. with the 100 advisers already there, who are offering advice, intelligence and training, along with equipment.[96] The brigade has established its headquarters in Yambio in South Sudan, close to the border with the DRC, and is commanded by a Ugandan officer; a Congolese officer has oversight of intelligence operations.

      Although we can’t soley attribute this to Invisible Children, I’m still inclined to give them some credit for actually achieving something positive in this world.  They wanted money to keep production of motivational media going, so they could continue to press for legislative action.  They never claimed to be a charity in the same sense as Red Cross.

    • Nathan says:

      04:37pm | 11/01/13

      Barry,

      Do you honestly believe it was the campaign to bring Kony down that lead to the US involvement? The video itself stated that the US government will not enter into any conflict unless there is a direct threat to the US or it is for economic reasons.

      I personally think the 3.2 billion barrels of oil that were discovered in Uganda might have been the reason for the US’ sudden heartfelt change.

      In other words, since they weren’t threatened and haven’t been too fussed about the genocide of Africans in the past, it was exactly what they always said it was. $$$.

    • JOHN O says:

      09:46am | 11/01/13

      I knew this was a crock the moment it started. Africa = scams. And people keep falling for them!

    • PeterM says:

      10:21am | 11/01/13

      A fool and their money are soon parted eh?

    • quasimodo says:

      09:50am | 11/01/13

      What I noticed straight away about this campaign, was that if failed to provide any context of the political violence in Uganda. The only explanation it gives is “he is not fighting for any cause only to maintain his power”. At once when I herd that I became suspicious. How can a fair a truth championing organisation be so one sided and automatically champion a corrupt government. Is Kony truly a rebel without a cause? I love the fact that there is a politician sitting in front of what appears to be a swimming pool… saying arrest him. Of course Kony   needs to held accountable for his action (and probably is menatlly ill, but what made him that way?) but so do others. A lot of problems, a lot of pain, indignity and the hunger of the developing world would be resolved, if their governments stopped stealing from from the people. The worst criminal in this world is the evil of corruption.

    • Ben C says:

      09:56am | 11/01/13

      Some questions that I would like to pose to Invisible Children:

      1. Now that you’ve missed your only opportunity to capture Joseph Kony, will you refund all the money you scammed off all the poor, gullible schmucks - especially since you’re feeling awkward about keeping it?

      2. Who is the next African guerilla warlord you have set your sights on? How much money do you wish to scam after this next film? Who’s the next young, impressionable child to be exploited? What happens when you fail again?

      Unfortunately, I know a few people who lacked the common sense to see that Kony 2012 was merely a publicity stunt that was never destined to achieve its stated goal.

    • guyperson says:

      10:11am | 11/01/13

      Oh yes I’m sure the film makers, t-shirt and sticker sellers are going to take down an armed warlord. 

      Should of spent those millions on a mercenary group, Hey at least its actually trying than buying garbage.

    • Bill of Queensland says:

      10:35am | 11/01/13

      Joseph Kony is a money spinner for Invisible Children! It is NOT in their interests for him to be captured or killed!

    • freethrow says:

      10:47am | 11/01/13

      what do you mean they didnt catch him? i clicked “like” on facebook ffs, what more do i have to do!

    • lostinperth says:

      12:52pm | 11/01/13

      LOL - sums it all up really

    • Joe says:

      10:52am | 11/01/13

      What ever happened to that guy who was masturbating in public? Wasn’t he part of the team behind this campaign/scam?

    • Jaqui says:

      11:31am | 11/01/13

      @Joe: He was the head honcho behind the scam.
      Just imagine they did actually get Khony what would they do next?

      $15 million dollars would easily hire a private security for a short precise engagement.
      But, and I mean but, if they actually got him that means there would be no more money for “administration” to pay these undereducated lefty layabouts big fat ole salaries.

      Leftist is as leftist does.

    • Leigh says:

      11:02am | 11/01/13

      There’s nothing new about this rip-off by people who pay themselves money to raise money, supposedly, for others. If people can’t tell the difference between cheery volunteers genuinely collecting for the needy and these ‘charitable’ businesses, the rogues will continue to prosper.

    • DP says:

      11:07am | 11/01/13

      Firstly,  I found value for money with my donation to the Kony Campaign. In a Donation that cost the amount of sending my kids to the pictures they sat at home & watched on- line, a real lesson of life.  It made them more aware in a way that couldn’t without the Kony Video popularity . 

      Secondly, I understand AND accept that the Video popularity,and the Donations, was much bigger than they ever expected.  I dont feel my Donation was a waste. my kids have the poster and etc as reminds of the film they saw which opened their eyes.

      We witness a lot more money being raised / wasted / going to profit / on much less .

    • DP says:

      11:18am | 11/01/13

      Ps.
      Wasnt going to mention this -but will.  My eldest son is off to Uganda with a Volunteer group, in less than 4 weeks. Because of the influence of the Kony film.

    • Jaqui says:

      11:38am | 11/01/13

      @DP:You eldest son couldn’t find an Australian community to contribute to?
      Oh I remember, its sooo much more fashionable to be seen by your leftists mates to be going over to Africa and doing charity than actually giving a rats arse about Australia or Australians.

    • Sarah says:

      11:40am | 11/01/13

      i’m glad you replied in the positive - i also donated money, i was born in Africa, and spent part of my childhood there, so I have an incredible need within myself to always give back to Africa. I don’t mind being called a fool, at least I know within myself that I still care. I’ve worked in an Aids orphanage there, so yes, i’ve put in the physical as well as the money.

      I usually support people through Kiva.org which is an amazing micro financing company. You lend money, you get it paid back. Nothing like big charities - i’d like to see everyone who replied in the negative here,  lend one person $25 in another country through Kiva.org. Bet you guys don’t!!! Easy to armchair critic.

    • guyperson says:

      11:50am | 11/01/13

      ““Secondly, I understand AND accept that the Video popularity,and the Donations, was much bigger than they ever expected.  I dont feel my Donation was a waste. my kids have the poster and etc as reminds of the film they saw which opened their eyes.”“

      (meanwhile in the future.)

      adult- ““Hey mum what happen to Kony?”
      mum-”“Well dear, he got away.”“
      adult-”“Wasn’t the point of the campaign to stop him and bring him to justice?”“
      mum-”“Well yes but it opened your eyes right?  Thats more important than what the millions of dollars raised for failed to do right?”“
      adult-”“pssst Mum, you got scammed, your stupid.””  *rips 2012 poster*

    • DP says:

      12:04pm | 11/01/13

      To Jaqui says: I Have been a volunteer to poor Australian struggling families for many years. Sad that you make assumptions.

    • James1 says:

      12:06pm | 11/01/13

      Personally, I never donate to causes that are only active in Australia.  My taxes pay for welfare which gives Australia’s “poor” access to a lifestyle that most actual poor people around the world would kill for. 

      That is why I give to Fred Hollows.  Firstly, they quantify what your money is doing, and let you know how much it costs them to restore a person’s sight.  Secondly, I would rather the money went to allowing a person in the developing world to earn a living for their family, rather than freeing up some bludger’s dole to spend on cigarettes and booze. 

      It is not about leftism or being fashionable or anything like that, it is about simple, inexorable logic.  It is that there is actual suffering out there, real poverty, the likes of which no Australian “poor” person could imagine.  It is about the sheer scale of need.  My personal perspective is that a person with no eyesight and no way to make a living is far more deserving than some Australian on the dole or earning a low income, with their subsidised housing and medicine, their free money from the government, and their free education and health care.  Keep in mind that my taxes pay for all of those things already - I see no reason why I should throw my charity at them as well.

    • James1 says:

      12:12pm | 11/01/13

      “I Have been a volunteer to poor Australian struggling families for many years.”

      As has every other Australian who pays tax.  Every single one of us is throwing our hard earned cash at them.  Surely that is enough.

    • Jaqui says:

      12:13pm | 11/01/13

      @DP: And Australia is all sorted now? Sad that you cannot see the wood for the trees.

    • Paul says:

      11:50am | 11/01/13

      “My eldest son is off to Uganda with a Volunteer group, in less than 4 weeks. Because of the influence of the Kony film.”

      When my kids misbehave I think about sending them to join Kony as well.

      I hope however that you realise that the Kony clip contained a level of misinformation that caused much of the public backlash?  And that the Invisible People group have spent more on their own wages than they ever will in capturing Kony (As their professed “purpose” is to publicise the situation.. and that’s it)?

      I’m glad your children are now more aware of injustices that occur around the world however I would strongly urge you to do further research with them through multiple sources rather than relying on a single (and proven unreliable) source.  Not relying on what other’s tell them to believe is true will certainly hold them in good stead for the future.

    • Tim says:

      11:51am | 11/01/13

      “Charity starts at home” ...Tell that to Jacob whose brother was killed by Ugandan rebels, to the hundreds of Ugandan kids who have no home or neighbours wealthy enough to offer any.

      Russell Emerson, why detract from the effort that went into creating awareness on this very important humanitarian cause? Why not offer your editorial privilege to assisting and renewing the momentum that was created by Invisible Children?

      Everyone remembers the overwhelming response that the video instigated and the toll it took on Jason’s mental health in a very short time. I’m sure they could use your help, and probably afford to pay you something for it.

      The money is in the bank, there is U.S. Presidential awareness and it’s possible that the interest from the millions raised can fund projects to achieve their desired outcome. No doubt it is not a simple logistical or political landscape to work in. Russell, you are not making it easier for a positive result.

      Those who made a donation had a choice and knew of the risk involved in achieving their perceived objectives. Kony’s arrest may never happen, yet the responsibility for Invisible Children and its management continues and we have invested in their ability to do something. There is still time.

    • PK says:

      11:53am | 11/01/13

      I only donate to causes I can see doing good and rely on volunteers - the SES, surf lifesavers, and the fire brigade.Never donating to anything where I can’t see my money at work, especially this whole Kony thing which was proven to be hyped out of all proportion

    • Ben says:

      11:53am | 11/01/13

      So many uninformed people on both sides of the debate.

      First of all, as much as i hate it, the Kony 2012 campaign was not about capturing Kony, it was about raising awareness of the problem. Kony 2012 was very successful in achieving its goal, but its goal was completely wrong for the current situation in Uganda.

      Kony and his LRA army are no longer major threat to Uganda or the people of the Congo. They were many years ago, when the leaders of the IC visited Uganda, but IC has not kept up to date on current affairs.

      the LRA has been split up into small groups that are almost impossible to find, and have no strike capabilities. They only cause a (relatively) small problem when raiding villages for food.

      the Kony 2012 campaign put to much focus on the LRA that much need resources were spent on searching for Kony, rather than combating actual current threats to the region, such as M23, a breakaway group of the DRC army.

      So yeah, your Kony funds and support meant that resources are being used to hunt for a few starving children dont know any better and are only violent to gain food, instead of a rebel army which recently captured the boarder town of Goma and acquired 100’s of tons of guns, while the UN soldiers watched on helplessly.

    • Ben C says:

      12:51pm | 11/01/13

      “the Kony 2012 campaign was not about capturing Kony”

      It was all about capturing Kony, the video even states that 2012 was the only opportunity to get him. In terms of outlandish statements, this would be right up there.

      The rest of your comment raises some really good points for consideration.

    • Ben says:

      01:57pm | 11/01/13

      Dont confuse me with someone who would defend the Kony 2012 campaign, I think it probably did more harm that good.
      But while its been a long while since i watched the video, I thought it was all about raising Konys profile and creating awareness of the problem. I dont remember it offering any proposals or solutions on capturing him.
      could be wrong though, and theres no way im watching the video again to find out

    • Ben C says:

      02:13pm | 11/01/13

      @ Ben

      “I dont remember it offering any proposals or solutions on capturing him.”

      That was the exact problem with the video making the claim that Kony needed to be captured in 2012 - no explanation of the how or the who. All I remember is little pieces of footage of the group’s members meeting with dignitaries, but no depth to the conversations at all.

    • Anna says:

      03:05pm | 11/01/13

      There’s a different between awareness and gathering donations. You don’t need millions and millions of dollars to raise awareness.
      But why am I wasting my time replying to your comment. You’ve already brainwashed yourself. But if people don’t have the same view as you, then they’re ‘uninformed’. Whatever.
      What sickened me was how the guy from the company/charity used his son to manipulate viewers (and manipulated his son as well).

    • subotic says:

      03:28pm | 11/01/13

      Raising awerness about who?

    • sjb29 says:

      12:05pm | 11/01/13

      I guess this did open our eyes to the fact that there’s a lot going on in the world that our mainstream “news” doesn’t touch on.

    • J-funk says:

      12:10pm | 11/01/13

      Thanks DP, yours is the only reply worth reading here. I am not saying that I am sure that ‘Invisible Children’  know what they are doing but I am sure that all I see here are a bunch of cynical people with two seconds to comment, who don’t know what they are talking about. Cheers, folks.

    • Andrew says:

      12:14pm | 11/01/13

      I must have been the only person in the world that wanted Kony to actually get away with it. Good luck to him and God bless.

    • Tangles says:

      12:18pm | 11/01/13

      After reading their web site and a few other articles, I am still wondering what it is that they have actually achieved. The organisation is commended for spending 80%+ of the money it gets on ‘programs’. That’s fine, but what have these programs achieved? What has happened as a result of these programs?

      The explanatory sections of the organisation’s financial statements and its statutory financial returns are not sufficiently specific: they say they do this, that and the other, but fail to adequately indicate achievements or outcomes in quantifiable or measurable terms. The organisation’s various reports and returns are long on describing and justifying its activities, but short on articulating results or milestones. The language used in their reports and returns is very carefully couched in vague and fuzzy terms that could mean different things to different people.

      The organisation bought all these vehicles, camera gear, computer equipment and other capital items, conducted all these tours, travelled around the country, set up offices, made and distributed films, produced promotional literature, web sites, t-shirts and stickers, and ‘mobilised’ all these people. But what have been the tangible outcomes or benefits?

    • Ferret says:

      12:22pm | 11/01/13

      I laughed while I watched this whole thing play out. The lefties hand over money to buy merchandise to cash in on social guilt on the latest scam someone thought up. It may have “opened your eyes” but that would imply that your little lefty heart was blind before.

      Why can’t you just admit you get scammed by a nut who like fornicating with parked cars and that your money is gone and used to fly a nut around the world whilst your wallet looks a bit emptier and that poster you bought never actually made it on the wall.

    • Mr Steve says:

      12:25pm | 11/01/13

      It’s more likely run by Kony, and you’ve all given him money and guns for the next 20 years.  Well done.

    • PAUL says:

      12:25pm | 11/01/13

      Silly fools who bought into this , deserve the outcome .

      If you wanted to really get rid of kony , you should have hired some mercenaries.
      Cheaper , more effective and just as illegal as the kony 2012 campaign

    • guyperson says:

      12:29pm | 11/01/13

      ““First of all, as much as i hate it, the Kony 2012 campaign was not about capturing Kony, it was about raising awareness of the problem. Kony 2012 was very successful in achieving its goal, but its goal was completely wrong for the current situation in Uganda.”“

      Tell people to watch the news other than a current affair.  Or read Al jazeera, current tv, sbs news, the infinite news sites on the internet that do this already.

      Making a youtube video is noble,  since its free but then asking for money and telling people the money will go towards stopping Kony is flat out lying.  No one apart of the company has spent a cent doing so.  It was purposely done to cater to people’s ego by making people think they are making a difference, with as much minimal effort as possible.  (none)

      Are you seeing more aware people from this?  The rallying of the masses to save Uganda or Africa from their problems?  No most people threw out their posters and stickers because the fad is over.

    • Shep says:

      12:31pm | 11/01/13

      Kony 2012 - is a fantastic example of marketing only and a direct contributor to “awareness fatigue”.  So, so over being told that something is there to “build awareness”.  I’m so friggin aware that my synapses are fried.

      It’s seems its true unfortunately - we’ve been turned into a society of thinkers and talker and not doers!

    • Nick says:

      12:32pm | 11/01/13

      Isn’t this charity a christian affiliate? Having worked in Kenya I’ll assume that they will do similar work to the other christian or catholic organisations. Preach abstinence to the locals (not safe sex) so that the HIV rate actually increases, then while your at it, give the locals some food in exchange for worship to breed a culture of dependence. Thank god we have religion to save the world.

    • Hartz says:

      04:12pm | 11/01/13

      I’m no god botherer but I don’t think you can blame thin on Christians… Pretty sure this guy was a carpark masturbater and a left wing atheist but don’t let that stop you…

    • Andrew says:

      12:42pm | 11/01/13

      It would not have been in the interest of the ruling elite or anybody in authority for Kony to have been caught because of the campaign, that’s why it (the campaign) was picked on so harshly and quickly by the main media - and who owns and controls the main media?. Think about it for a minute people, what precendence in our society it would have set had Kony been caught, how many warlords, crimal organisations, corrupt government officials etc etc are out there?, either way people power is ccming and can’t be stopped

    • Phillip says:

      02:31pm | 11/01/13

      Before I was fortunate enough to be accepted as an immigrant into this great country I fought in various wars in Africa including the bloody Angolan war
      which was a far bigger and more serious affair than Vietnam. All in all, some 19 years of front line experience. This what I can tell you about charities in Africa. It is a glorious rort for all the gangsters who take control of money, food, medical supplies etc. The Red Cross are mainly useless and most of the money they get is spent on managing themselves. Many a time we just took their supplies and distributed them to the poor, the starving and the medically needy otherwise it would remain in their stores, subject to a massive bureaucracy. My heart goes out to those who give their time and money freely and sincerely try to do the right thing. But most of the donations are simply stolen or used for excessive executive salaries, 1st class travel and other expenses. Less than 5c in every dollar will actually do some good - and that’s a generous estimate.The only charities I support, based on my experience, are the Salvos and Doctors without Borders.They have my utmost respect and admiration.
      I leave out the churches as well because they are easily exploited by crooked politicians and many Nuns orders were wiped out in horrific circumstances which I am sorry to say led to us sometimes to taking terrible retribution without mercy.Nigerian type scams and Ponzi schemes are amateurish compared to the charity money making racket. If you want to earn very good money, without taxation, start a charity. Then you can pay yourself enormous benefits and take advantage of all the poor workers who donate their time to you for virtually nothing. Its the greatest con in the World.
      Every time I see publicity about some swank do at some posh hotel for a charity my blood begins to boil in anger. You can be almost certain that all the money collected will disappear in that gravy train.And the donors and guests feel noble because they have supported a good cause - rich, rich irony.
      I would go so far as to recommend that all charities be independently audited each year with the requirement that 90% plus of money collected be proven to go to the people intended to help.Executive salaries and benefits to be in line with the Salvos.
      I’ve seen it all - the chartered jets, the deluxe travel, the bloated monetary rewards while sincere volunteers give their all. They are just dupes.

    • Disilluionsed says:

      03:09pm | 11/01/13

      Great comment and I’m of the same view as you. But I do have to add that I wouldn’t donate to Doctors Without Borders, as that charity is now ‘managed’ by a marketing company (Appco) that is responsible for the street workers and other aggressive techniques, the CEO of which is a multi-millionaire, who is known for driving and collecting fast cars. I don’t even want to imagine what commission they take and I’m surprised that no journalist has investigated this company in Australia (as it has been in the UK), hiring street charity workers on the basis of commission that it has been known not to pay. A ponzi scheme no less.

    • Rob says:

      02:36pm | 11/01/13

      Slacktivism at its finest.

    • pfft says:

      02:46pm | 11/01/13

      Why don’t they just use the money to put a bounty on his head?

    • Anna says:

      03:12pm | 11/01/13

      Didn’t you read the article? They have millions in unrestricted funds. They’ll keep it for themselves.

    • Anna says:

      03:02pm | 11/01/13

      I no longer donate to any charity I see on the street, only because the lot of them are marketed (ie Appco receives a commission) by Appco - the entire list of them can be found here: http://www.appcogroup.com/our-clients
      It’s quite a sobering list and I’m sick and tired of their aggressive approach and pseudo friendliness, just so they can get a commission.
      As for the Kony campaign, it appears to use the same strategies, despite being a different company.

    • Pete says:

      03:16pm | 11/01/13

      Charity starts at home, or so the saying goes, and there are any number of charities at home… I could donate money to the local private hospital to “improve community healthcare” I could donate money to facilitate the kid down the road’s cricket team going to Brisbane, I could even donate money to the Royal Children’s Hospital to help it provide services that our government can afford to provide for us, or I could let my money help to save lives in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world by donating money to an organisation like Doctors without Borders (MSF).
      For sure there are lots of problems with providing overseas aid, if it were that easy we would have fixed it by now, but seeing problems is not an excuse for apathy.  Do your research, a reasonably transparent organisation will report where it gets its funding from and where it goes. 
      I have worked with MSF in a state in Africa where we were the only people able to provide malaria treatment we treated hundreds of children that would have died without our treatment.  We also treated hundreds of children for starvation during the hunger gap.  Other organisations were just not organised enough to have the drugs and food available.  People here just can’t conceive of the conditions the people living out there endured, by comparison, charities at home are Icing on the cake.

    • Disgruntled Goat says:

      03:33pm | 11/01/13

      I hate to be the misery guts here but I am yet to see any organisation achieve any progress in that god forsaken continent. Seriously “aid” at best has only ever provided band aid solutions to the countless issues to befall that horrible place.
      Sponsor a child get him educated, well that’s great but is there any jobs to go to with this education?
      Food aid, ok fill up peoples tummies for a week but does that help them develop sustainable agriculture?
      Financial aid? where does that go? does it develop infrastructure, industry no!
      Kony Campaign, capture a warlord no, raise awareness about public masturbation yes! squander funds yes!

      Also there are the African people who yes granted are very desperate but at what point are they willing to help themselves and not hope the international community solves their problems?

      This is why I will never donate to any save the kids or whomever, I will donate locally to whichever organisation I know does not hoard their funds and blow it on “running costs” under the false guise of helping people.

    • Donna says:

      04:05pm | 11/01/13

      This isn’t about donating locally vs donating overseas. It’s about making sure you do good research into your chosen charity before you donate. There are many, many GOOD organisations out there, who are transparent and do GOOD, REAL work. The fact that so many people got swept up on the Invisible Children campaign just goes to show that there needs to be much more education around international aid and how it actually works.

 

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